The United States signed a deal with Taliban insurgents on Saturday that could pave the way toward a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan over the next 14 months and represent a step toward ending the 18-year-old war in the nation.
While the agreement creates a path for the US to gradually pull out of its longest war, many expect talks to come between the Afghan sides may be much more complicated.
Months of speculation about when the deal would be signed, and what its contents would be, culminated in a plush conference room in the Qatari capital Doha, when Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signed the accord along with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
The pair then shook hands, as people in the room shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on hand to witness the ceremony.
Talking about Pakistan role in the negotiation process, Lodhi said that her country kept the channel of communication open with the Taliban. “If we hadn’t, Pakistan would not have been to play the constructive role it played in helping in the sequence of events that led to the Doha agreement between the US and the Taliban.”
“Today is a monumental day for Afghanistan,” the US Embassy in Kabul said on Twitter. “It is about making peace and crafting a common brighter future. We stand with Afghanistan.”